According to Zimbabwean law every employee shall as between himself and his employer have the right to:
- Be any member or an officer of a trade union which is registered or certified
- Engage in the lawful activities of that trade union for the advancement or protection of her/his interest
- Take part in the formation and registration or certification of a trade union
These rights also apply to workers' committees at a work place.
Any person who is aggrieved by any infringement or threatened infringement of the above rights shall be entitled to apply to the labour court for an order directing the employer concerned to cease the infringement or threatened infringement.
The employee can also apply for damages for any loss caused either directly or indirectly as a result of the infringement or threatened infringement.
It is illegal or considered an unfair labour practice if your employer:
- Refuses to negotiate in good faith with a workers' committee or a trade union which has been duly formed to represent any of its employees
- Refuses to operate in good faith with an employment council or board on which the interests of any of her/his employees are represented.
According to the law no one shall hinder or prevent any employee from forming a workers' committee for the purpose of airing any grievance, negotiating any matter that protects the rights or interests of employees.
How these workers' committees shall be formed
- No managerial employee shall be present in this workers' committee unless the committee is specifically for managers
- Employees shall be assisted by a labour relations officer or a representative of an appropriate union in appointing or electing the workers' committee
- Employees shall be entitled to reasonable facilities to communicate with each other and meet together during working hours at their place of work
- The employer shall provide the relevant names and particulars of all employees employed by her/him.
Functions of a workers' committee
- To represent workers in any matter affecting their rights and interests
- To negotiate collective bargaining agreements relating to the terms and conditions of employment of the workers with the employer
- To recommend collective job action to workers and select some members to represent employers in workers' council .